Winters’s formula revisited
The fundamentals of acid-base physiology underlie numerous pathological processes and treatments. The modern methods used to evaluate a patient’s acid-base status are based on Lawrence J. Henderson’s early work on the thermodynamics and kinetics of acid-base reactions. Henderson’s work eventually culminated in two groundbreaking papers advancing our understanding and approaches to measuring a patient’s acid-base status. However, Henderson’s formula failed to provide information on the secondary compensation to primary acid-base disturbances. During the mid-20th century, two physicians, Horace W. Davenport and Robert W. Winters, revealed the physiological mechanisms and provided a mathematical description of acid-base physiology. In this paper, we discuss the history of acid-base physiology and revisit Winters’s formula with respect to extreme disturbances in pH.
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